I use to hate Apple and their products, but I have switched my major from Computer Science to Graphic Design and acquired the need for a MacBook Pro (I am now minoring in Computer Science as I want to do modeling/texturing for video games). Because of this switch, I was forced to learn MacOS and in doing so, I have gained an understanding of Apple's products previously unknown to me.
I am using the 15 inch MacBook Pro 2.8GHz quad-core 7th gen i7 processor, 16GB DDR3 RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
When arguing against Apple products, people usually compare PC equivalent specs. They (usually) always come out significantly less expensive than what Apple sells its products for. When trying to make a better computer for less money, people are always able to produce more powerful machines for less money than the flagship Mac.
I find this argument really weak because you're not paying premium prices for the hardware - you're paying for the engineering that goes into the product. The retina display that the MacBook Pro uses is custom integrated into the lid to get it to be so thin. According to iFixit's teardown of a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro:
"[Apple did] something exceptional with the design of this display: rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a front glass, they used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass."
Another thing that I find pretty neat is the touch bar. Initially, I didn't like the design; I thought to replace the function keys and the escape button with nonphysical keys was a mistake. On the contrary, based on my usage, Macs don't use the function keys like Windows machines do. From an IT standpoint, you don't need them to get into the BIOS or setup menu. You don't generally use Macs for gaming, so that's also an area that doesn't need an easily accessible function key.
The only relevant use for function keys for the average consumer is the system controls that are usually printed on them. These are moved to the primary function of the touch bar. Not to mention that different applications can display different widgets or controls on it that can prove really useful given thoughtful development on the programmer's side. I really enjoy the song scrubber that you can enable when running Spotify. The addition of the fingerprint scanner at the end of it help to make it a worthwhile addition to the machine.
Though due to Apple's recent acquisition of a patent for a keyless keyboard, I think the real reason for the touch bar is to test drive their future plans. Similar to how they removed the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 even though they had room for it. I speculated that this was to get ready for the iPhone X since it needed to ditch it to make room for the wider screen.
The patent for the keyless keyboard also shows their plans to include haptic feedback. Speaking of haptic feedback, I land on my final neat thing about the MacBook Pro: the Trackpad. While it is massive, it is also stationary (or at least it seems so). If the device is off, you will not feel any distinguishable click like you would when you're in the OS. This is because it doesn't actually click.
To make the MacBook as thin as possible, Apple engineers have come up with an incredible piece of tech that knows where your finger is and moves the trackpad laterally as well as send vibrations to your finger to trick your brain into thinking you're depressing the capacitive glass touchpad. When in actuality, it is not clicking. When I discovered this, I showed my roommate and my friends. I found it incredibly cool.
As for MacOS, I had previously hated it due to my unfamiliarity with how it works. When I first got my Mac, I spent a good few hours just messing around with it and learning how it worked. I think of myself considerably knowledgeable as to how Windows works due to my past experience as a Systems Administrator for my high school these past few summers. By messing around in MacOS, I was able to become quite familiar with it right off the bat.
MacOS is neat and definitely made for the consumer and not so much the businesses, but it has an emphasis on the 'Apple Ecosystem'. Which is what describes the integration between all of Apple's products. The seamlessness of iCloud data through iPhones to iMacs is what really makes people a fan of Apple's products. MacOS is no better or worse than Windows - they are different in their own ways and used for different purposes.
Windows dominates the gaming market and will continue to do so (Microsoft knows part of their core market is in gaming and wouldn't dare to compromise that). MacOS is generally preferred for art (at least at Universities) because Apple products are so controlled whereas PC computers are so vast in manufacturing companies. Macs are used for art in a professional setting because that's just how things were historically. A lot of tools like digital typography and Photoshop were originally built on Mac. Windows has since caught up and now its really a matter of preference for indie artists and developers.
The only real gripe I have about the new MacBook is the keyboard being so low profile. The auditory click it makes is nice, but physically typing on it just isn't satisfactory to me. Also, and this could just be me, but the sweat from my palms when typing for prolonged periods of time (about as long as this article took to write) builds up and easily dries on the case.
Maybe whatever is under the hood in that spot is making heat that causes this or maybe it's just my overactive sweat glands. Otherwise, it's a slick computer with a hell of a design. It isn't cheap, but that's the price you pay for the Apple logo and all the genius engineering that comes with it.
As for Apple, I really think the next coming decade will be one of innovation to the laptop ecosystem. I can't see Apple improving their desktops very much to rival the economic value of building your own PC, but I can definitely see big things in the future for phones and laptops. That being said, there isn't much that anyone can do to get me away from my Google Pixel. I really love that thing. And although this MacBook is my daily driver for school, I will always have a gaming rig way more powerful and cheaper than any MacBook Pro Apple can churn out.
One last thing I commend Apple on is their new headquarters being 'The Greenest Building on the Planet'